On Tuesday, the Talkeetna Recycling Committee held its first meeting. About twenty-five area residents attended the meeting to discuss the possibility of a recycling program for Talkeetna. A handful of local business were represented at the meeting as well.
The committee was formed by the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors after hearing from Macey “Butch” Shapiro, Solid Waste Manager for the Mat-Su Borough. Shapiro says he is interested in community-driven recycling programs, because they would result in fewer new landfill cells being built. Each cell costs the borough more than $4 million to open. The plan would involve a refurbished container being placed at the Talkeetna transfer site. The container will be divided into three sections, allowing for three different types of recyclables. The borough would manage the hauling of the container to the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions facility, which is located near the borough’s central landfill.
Butch Shapiro said, at the December Talkeetna Community Council meeting, that the Solid Waste Division, which is currently running in the red, does not have the funds to supply the containers to interested communities. Thus, each community that wants to participate has to raise $10,000 dollars.
Talkeetna Community Council board member Katie Writer presided over Tuesday’s recycling meeting. She says raising $10,000 is feasible, given the number of individuals and businesses interested in recycling.
The other major factor in the program, if it is begun, will be volunteers. Many types of recycling require significant sorting, and sometimes cleaning, before they are ready to be processed. Many present at the meeting say that significant volunteer hours will be needed to keep recycling running smoothly.
Katie Writer says the meeting was intended to get the process and the conversation started and create the beginnings of a volunteer pool. The next recycling committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 24th.